Sensor Survey Results
Here we have the result of the Sensor Survey launched by Libelium last October. A total of 283 interested users have submitted their preferences. The purpose of the survey was to count with the opinion and suggestions of researchers and developers in order to get the best design features for the upcoming sensor platform Waspmote. The results are classified in the next 5 main fields: environmental, gas, physical, optical and biometric.
Agricultural applications are one of the most required in the terms of temperature, humidity (soil, leaf, ambient) and wind (speed and direction). Ph and Redox sensors start being demanded, what means a new market in the terms of chemical sensor probes is necessary to supply all the upcoming environmental WSN projects. The Libelium's educational sensor platform (SquidBee) already had integrated these "top list" (humidity and temperature) sensors.
Motion of any kind is one of the most demanded: accelerometers, vibration, and presence sensors lead this list. No doubt, security applications are waiting to be deployed. On the other side the "world of objects" is also an interest field: bend, flex, strain and stress sensors let know how each object is interacting with the world and monitorice its state.
Waspmote comes with a SMD accelerometer to get the maximum precision and accuracy in the measurements, without being affected for the position and stability of a possible extra board which should have to be connected.
Organic gases (carbone) derived from the "live systems" such as respiration in humans (CO2), animals (CH4) and combustion (CO) of vegetable elements (fire forest) are the most required sensors. Other toxic gases which can be found in animal farms (NH3, SH2) and the fabric and cars pollution gases (NO2) complete the list.
Optical sensors to detect human presence through the IR spectrum are the most voted sensors in this area. Returning to the Agriculture applications the sun light, radiation and ultraviolet sensors are required in order to measure the total amount of energy and light which is absorbed by the plants.
Monitoring the pulse, rate and other heart activities in order to prevent a possible attack or the fall of a elderly person (using an accelerometer) are the "most wanted" sensors in the biometric field. In this area developers need to count also with a real time and redundant alarm system so that communication can always be established. For this reason, Waspmote comes with both ZigBee and GSM/GPRS modules. The ZigBee transceiver lets the module communicate with the medical applications when the patient is near his house or the medical center; on the other hand SMS alarms can be sent wherever using the GSM/GPRS module.
Other interesting and not common sensors have been also submitted: eyes movement, snare, fingerprint, sap flow... The conclusion is the sensor manufacturers have to start thinking in the WSN as a potencial and huge market field. This requires the development of small, low consumption and cheap sensors to be integrated in the motes:
Distributed sensor data acquisition is more important than individual accuracy.
Libelium wants to thank everybody who have participated in the survey. In the next days we will contact the Waspmote Developer Kit winner. If you want to get in touch as soon as we release the Waspmote platform, just subscribe to our newsletter.